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English definition of “serve”

serve

verb     /sɜːv/
FOOD/DRINK [I, T] A2 to give someone food or drink , especially guests or customers in a restaurant or bar : We're not allowed to serve alcohol to anyone under 18.Providing and serving mealsGiving, providing and supplying
SHOP [I, T] B1 to help customers and sell things to them in a shop : Are you being served?Giving, providing and supplyingSelling
WORK [I, T] to do work that helps society , for example in an organization such as the army or the government : to serve in the army to serve on a committee / jury He served as mayor for 5 years .Jobs, careers and professionsWorking
BE USEFUL [I, T] to be useful as something: It's a very entertaining film but it also serves an educational purpose . The spare bedroom also serves as a study . [+ to do sth] He hopes his son's death will serve to warn others about the dangers of owning a gun .Performing a functionFunctioning
PRISON [T] to be in prison for a period of time : Williams, 42, is serving a four-year jail sentence .Putting people in prison
SPORT [I] in a sport such as tennis , the action of throwing the ball up into the air and then hitting it towards the other player Tennis and racket sports
serves one/two/four, etc If an amount of food serves a particular number , it is enough for that number of people . → See also It serves her/him/you right!Meals and parts of meals
(Definition of serve verb from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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